Governor John Hickenlooper has signed an executive order to address safety concerns associated with 260 orphaned oil and gas wells and 360 orphaned well sites. Orphaned wells are abandoned wells that have no owner It is the responsibility of the state to deal with them
The executive order does three things:
1) Reduces the backlog of medium to high priority orphaned wells and orphaned drill sites to zero.
2) Engages the oil and gas industry in the plugging, remediation and reclamation of the wells and orphaned sites.
3) Call for a financial assurance to prevent future orphaned wells and orphaned sites by providing funding for plugging, remediation and reclamation activities.
The Governor says an explosion that killed two people in Firestone last year led to a closer look at the oil and gas industry. That resulted in an effort to address the issue of orphaned wells. A list of the orphaned wells will be made public by August 1st.